Help St. Barth Update.
October 2018 Newsletter.
OCTOBER IS HERE and we are so thankful to have had a calm hurricane season. ( hoping it's over!)
Tired construction crews have been on their annual break but everyone is back on island and dealing with the business of the continued reconstruction.
In the weeks that our volunteers were driving all around the island delivering tarps and other supplies we noticed for the most part how amazingly resilient, resourceful, and work full the population of St. Barths is. (well we knew that because we were here for hurricane LUIS too). The result of these wonderful community attributes is that St. Barth looks and IS so incredibly "recovering" from the unprecedented Hurricane IRMA. Nature has cooperated and the recent consistent rains have done miracles for the island’s vegetation, bird, and animal population.
There is something else that we observed about the community however that was less encouraging. There is in ST. Barths, like in all communities, a segment of the population whose existence and resourcefulness is more precarious. We noticed a few elderly and isolated individuals who were unable to help themselves in even the most basic of ways. We also discovered members of the local population who simply did not have the resources to begin to cover the necessary repairs or in some cases demolitions and rebuilds. We approached the Collectivite, specifically the office of SOCIAL SERVICES to ask what kind of support could we bring to these individuals and families. In fact
the Collectivite has been very generous in giving a measured stipend to many in need but in some cases public funds could make but a small contribution to costly reconstruction.
Through the next few months the officials at the Collectivite triaged individuals who were really candidates for benefiting from private funding. HELP ST BARTH worked on a relationship with the French RED CROSS as well as the Lions Club and Rotary Clubs of St. Barths to collectively fund these projects. HELP ST BARTH has the largest role financially and also in terms of coordinating and overseeing all of these projects.
HELP ST BARTHS is currently working on 7 reconstruction projects through an initiative called "PROJECT PELICAN".
Some of the projects are small repairs, installation of handicap ramps, hurricane shutters, construction of cisterns, roof repairs or replacements, and repairs due to impacts to homes. Some of the projects are most extensive as homes (mostly old St. Barths traditional "cases" or older family homes) were utterly destroyed. These homes are all modest but the cost is still substantial.
We are currently completing projects, working on others and coordinating work and funds for upcoming projects.
HELP ST BARTH and our French counterpart ST. BARTH INITIATIVE (registered French non for profit entity) are not only working on "PROJET PELICAN" but will be gathering perpetual funding for future projects that will benefit the population, the environment and the well being of the island.
HELP ST BARTH and ST.BARTH INITIATIVE are registered and comply with the appropriate financial reports and governmental filings so that donors can receive tax exemptions for donations.